The Benny Hill Show is a British comedy television show that starred Benny Hill and aired in various forms between 15 January 1955 and 30 May 1991 in over 140 countries.
The Benny Hill Show features Benny Hill in various short comedy sketches and occasional, extravagant musical performances by artists of the time. Hill appears in many different costumes and portrays a vast array of characters. Slapstick, burlesque and double entendresare his hallmarks. A group of critics accused the show of sexism, and Hill responded by claiming that female characters kept their dignity while the men who chase them were portrayed as buffoons.
The show often uses undercranking and sight gags to create what he called "live animation", and he employs techniques like mime and parody. The show typically closes with a sped-up chase scene involving him and often a crew of scantily-clad women (usually with Hill being the one chased, due to silly predicaments that he himself caused), a takeoff on the stereotypical Keystone Kops chase scenes. Hill also composed and sang patter songs and often entertained his audience with lengthy high-speed double-entendre rhymes and songs, which he recited or sang in a single take.
Hill also used the television camera to create comedic illusions. For example, in a murder mystery farce entitled "Murder on the Oregon Express" from 1976 (a parody of Murder on the Orient Express) Hill used editing, camera angles, and impersonations to depict a Quinn Martin–like TV "mystery" featuring Hill in the roles of 1970s American television detectives Ironside, McCloud, Kojak, Cannon and Hercule Poirot.
Runtime: 30 minutes
The Benny Hill Show - The Benny Hill Show - Netflix
The Benny Hill Show is a British comedy television show starring Benny Hill that aired in various forms between 15 January 1955 and 16 May 1991 in over 140 countries. The show consisted mainly of sketches that were full of slapstick, mime, parody and double entendre. Thames Television cancelled production of the show in 1989 because of declining ratings and large production costs at £450,000 (equivalent to £1,027,400 in 2016) per show.
The Benny Hill Show - Production notes - Netflix
The show's closing theme tune, “Yakety Sax”, which has gained a following in its own right, was written by James Q. “Spider” Rich and Boots Randolph. As the closing credits rolled, the theme was usually accompanied by a sped-up chase-sequence, often featuring scantily clad young women. The show's musical director was pianist and easy listening conductor Ronnie Aldrich, and vocal backing was provided by session singers the Ladybirds (who also frequently appeared on camera from 1969 to 1974). The saxophone soloist on Aldrich's version of “Yakety Sax” was Peter Hughes. For three episodes of the 1973–1974 season, Albert Elms filled in for Aldrich as musical director. “Yakety Sax” first appeared in the 19 November 1969 episode, which was also the first show for Thames. Another signature of the show was the enthusiastic announcer intro: “Yes! It's The Benny Hill Show!” (The announcer was often cast member Henry McGee.) From 1975 forward, Hill was also introduced at the start of each show as “The Lad Himself”. The show closed with Hill's salute: “Thank you for being with us, and we look forward to seeing you all again—very, very soon. Until then, bye bye.”.
The Benny Hill Show - References - Netflix